Akiyoshido Limestone Cave Yamaguchi
Akiyoshido Cave - Japan's Largest Limestone Cave 秋吉洞: To date, more than 400 caves have been discovered beneath Akiyoshidai, the largest karst in Japan.
Akiyoshido Cave - Japan's Largest Limestone Cave, Yamaguchi Prefecture 秋吉洞
To date, more than 400 caves have been discovered beneath Akiyoshidai, the largest karst in Japan. Several of the larger caves are open to the public, and of these, Akiyoshido is the largest as well as being the largest cavern system in Japan.
Originally named Taki ana (waterfall hole) it was renamed by Crown Prince Showa when he visited in 1926, The cave is 10.7 km in length, though only around 1.5 km is open to the public in the tourist course.
You enter along an elevated walkway into a vertical gash in the cliff wall out of which flows the underground river. The first section is huge, at places 100 m wide, and is more like an aircraft hangar or cathedral. The temperature is a pleasant 16 degrees (62 Fahrenheit), and stays constant year round so the caves can be visited no matter the season or weather.
Further back in the cave the path leaves the river and twists and turns and climbs through some of the side caves. Here you can see classic stalagtites and stalagmites and a whole variety of fantastic formations. Colored lighting makes the most of these features. Most of the formations have names, "King of the Cavern", and "100 Limestone Pools" are pictured here.
At the rear of the cavern is an elevator up to the Akiyoshidai plateau, so if you didn't want to walk back through the cave you can exit this way and explore the plateau. A shuttle bus runs you back to Akiyoshido Town.
Access - Getting There
Akiyoshido, Shuhocho Akiyoshi Mine-shi
Tel: 0837 62 0305
Hours: The cavern is open from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm daily.
Admission: entrance is 1,200 yen; junior and high school students: 950 yen, elementary school students and below enter for free.
Adventure Course: plus 300 yen
Romantic Exploration in the Dark: plus 100 yen